Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Self-Reg - Why Can't I Focus?

Usually after my husband leaves for work I walk across the hall from the bedroom to my home office and work away on my blog or on one of the two courses that I'm taking - the self-regulation course from the MEHRIT Centre and my doctorate from Western University.  But Monday I just couldn't seem to focus on anything.  Instead of working in my home office, I dragged my laptop to my bed so I could stay under the covers a bit longer.  I finished a blog post I'd been working on previously and posted it.

Then I went to my office and got all my folder and my papers for the course I'm currently taking at Western and brought them into bed with me.  I looked at two different articles but couldn't bring myself to read them.  I reviewed the criteria for an assignment that will be due in mid January, but I didn't start that either.  I wandered around the internet - Facebook, Twitter, back to my blog, some other blogs, and around and around I went.  I was spending lots of time getting nothing done.  Before I knew it, it was 11:30 am and I felt like I'd done nothing.  Which would be okay if I had decided I wanted a decadent, stay in bed and relax and read kind of morning but I hadn't.  I wanted to work on my course, but I just couldn't.

I finally forced myself to get up, get showered and dressed and get out of the house.  I thought maybe a change in scenery would help me to get jump-started out of this low energy state.  At first I wondered: what's wrong with me? Why can't I focus on anything today? As I was driving down the street I remembered something we talk about all the time in self-regulation: why this behaviour and why now?  And as I saw students entering and exiting the local high school, a light bulb started to go on in my head.

My girls had been home for Christmas and both had now gone back to school out of town - one to college and one to university.  My husband had been home for two weeks for Christmas Break and he had just returned to work that day.  As a recent retiree (since June 30, 2016)  I'm still getting used to my new routines and new lifestyle.  When everyone else went back to school in September, I made sure I had plans on the day after Labour Day. I went to a breakfast for retirees in the morning and went out boating with my eldest daughter and her friends in the afternoon.  I knew that first day back to school in September when I wasn't going back would be 'weird.'  I hadn't anticipated that the first day back to school/work after the Christmas Break would also be 'weird' but I think that's what it was.  Everyone else was returning to their former routines, and I was struggling to get back into my retirement routine.

I've made plans for the rest of the week and put them all on my calendar including regular visits to the gym, a visit to my dad's, a Twitter Chat, volunteering in a classroom and having lunch with a friend.  I think by the end of the week or possibly next, I'll be feeling like I'm back in some semblance of a routine again which should help me focus.


As I wandered around the internet this morning, I found this blog by Aviva Dunsiger, who experienced a similar lack of focus one day over the Christmas holidays and who also examined her experience through the lens of self-reg.  I'm not alone!

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